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Gentiva buys Heart to Heart

TUPELO and STARKVILLE — Gentiva Health Services Inc., an Atlanta-based provider of home health and hospice services, has acquired Heart to Heart Hospice. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Established in 2001, Heart to Heart Hospice has offices in Starkville and Tupelo covering 22 counties in the state. Hospice services offered through this newest addition to Gentiva include skilled ...

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Democrats wary of healthcare legislation

WASHINGTON — Rank-and-file Democrats in Congress remain wary of health care legislation in spite of President Barack Obama’s closing argument for overhauling the system, well aware that success is far from assured and political perils abound. “I think he has succeeded in prying open a window of opportunity, but it’s a very narrow window,” said first-term Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va. ...

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Alliance ends hospital opposition

OLIVE BRANCH — Alliance Healthcare System Inc. has dropped its opposition to Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare’s proposed 100-bed hospital in Olive Branch, leaving only Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto to oppose the plan. The Alliance system, based in Holly Springs, had fought Methodist Le Bonheur’s proposal for a $137-million hospital in DeSoto County, where Baptist Memorial has a 339-bed hospital in Southaven. ...

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Obama tries to reach out to GOP

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said today he was open to four new Republican proposals on health care legislation, in a gesture of bipartisanship meant to jump-start his stalled drive to overhaul the system. Obama detailed the ideas, all of which were raised at a bipartisan health care summit last week, in a letter to congressional leaders. In a nod ...

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Obama tries to woo reluctant Democrats

WASHINGTON — A small number of House Democrats who opposed health overhaul legislation on the first go-round may be President Barack Obama’s most important constituency when he unveils a revised proposal on Wednesday. At least nine of the 39 Democrats who voted “nay” when the House passed sweeping overhaul legislation 220-215 in November are now undecided or withholding judgment until ...

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Midwives oppose home-birth bill

JACKSON — Renata Hillman has been birthing babies in Mississippi for more than two decades, delivering some 500 children by her own count. Hillman, a certified professional midwife or CPM, said she became concerned about a bill in the Legislature that would put restrictions on who can perform home births. So Hillman, some traditional midwives and midwifery advocates organized and ...

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Buffett: Healthcare costs draining businesses

OMAHA, Neb.  — Billionaire Warren Buffett says health care costs are a major drain on U.S. businesses and act like an “economic tape worm.” The head of the holding company Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said Monday on CNBC that America’s health care system needs fundamental reform to attack costs because it’s not practical to continue devoting roughly 17 percent of the ...

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River Oaks makes 'temporary' staff changes

JACKSON — Officials at River Oaks Hospital have announced staff changes that employees say has meant layoffs of about 30 people. Employees told WAPT-TV that the layoffs happened Friday, mainly to administration and clerical staff. Hospital spokeswoman Yancy C. Ammons says the number of employees has not been determined. She said in a statement that after a thorough evaluation, “we ...

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Decision all that remains from hospital hearings

State Health Department hearings regarding a proposed $121 million St. Dominic Hospital Madison Campus concluded Feb. 25 with testimony from the public. Proceedings began on Feb. 4. Health Management Associates Inc. (HMA), owner of the River Oaks Healthcare network of five Jackson metro area facilities, is legally opposing the St. Dominic’s facility. HMA leases the 67-bed Madison County Medical Center ...

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BLS releases illness, injury report

There were 277,680 occupational injuries and illnesses with days away from work reported for state and local government combined in 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fifty percent occurred in service occupations, including healthcare support and protective service workers. In contrast, 22 percent of the injuries and illnesses in private industry occurred in service occupations. State government workers ...

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